Three-Legged Stool

While I took several theology classes in college, I do not consider myself to be a theologian.  I am not in any way claiming supernatural spiritual insight and interpretation.  My thoughts that I am sharing with you today are simply a way that I am applying Scriptural principles to my life.

Many of you may know that my Dad is a doctor here in town.  I have always appreciated the unusual focus that the doctors at his clinic take.  For one thing, they have taken turns going on mission trips, with a certain amount of time even being paid  leave.  But their logo is also unique for a doctor’s office: Body Mind Spirit.  Through years of practicing medicine, my Dad could definitely confirm that if one of these areas are off, everything can be affected.  If you break your leg, your mind can cause discouragement and you can lose resiliency.  If you are struggling with depression, minimal time passes before the struggles in your mind manifest themselves in physical ways.

Ecclesiastes 4:12

New International Version (NIV)

12 Though one may be overpowered,
    two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

I have often heard this verse applied at weddings.  Particularly they state that if God is part of your 3 strand cord (with you & your husband being the other 2 cords), your marriage will be much stronger.  While this is not a completely Scriptural thought, the importance of being connected first God, then with your husband is definitely found throughout  Scripture.  But as I was thinking about my Dad’s logo the other day, I started to think of another way to possibly apply this verse.

Just as I will not function as well if one of the three areas (body, mind, spirit) are out of whack, I feel like if I am not connected to my husband in these three strands (body, mind, spirit) our marriage will not be functioning as well as it could be.  When I am able to find the time to communicate with my husband with my body, my mind and my spirit, we are going to be more connected.

Like a three-legged stool.  You can tip back on the legs of stool and still manage to not fall down for a little while.  I know this has been true for us.  Especially during our four different baby stages, I did not have very much to give physically at the end of the day.  We managed to survive that time and to connect when we could until we were finally getting more sleep and could start to balance better.  Now we are entering into a new stage where sometimes connecting with our minds can be challenging.  In a houseful of four talkative children, once they are in bed for the night, we often just want quiet.  And if we do try to touch base during the awake  hours, we are often interrupted.

We really have not had consistent date nights because we have been able to spend time together once the kids are sleeping.  But now that they are getting older and staying up later that may need to change.  Our 5:00 a.m. wake-up time is not going to change while my husband is at his current job, so our bedtime cannot be pushed back to midnight.  Otherwise we are back to those sleep-deprived infant years.  And once you leave that stage, you don’t always want to go back. 🙂  (More on date nights in an upcoming post!)

Connecting with our spirits can be challenging at every stage.  Meeting with God alone and then together during the preschool years is a daunting task.  Especially when time is limited.  I am convinced that our marriages have a stronger base when God is invited into our lives.  If you want your stool to tip over really quickly, remove God.  I am honestly amazed that divorce does not occur even more often in relationships where He is not a part of the equation.  When the Bible is guiding our life and His Spirit is infiltrating our hearts, we will live in a more transformed manner.

Are you able to consistently connect with your husband in all three areas: body, mind & spirit?  Do you have any strands that are not happening?  What is one thing that you can do today to help your relationship be more balanced?  Perfection is not the goal (none of us will ever achieve that!), but when we do make an effort, our marriages will sit more comfortably.

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2 thoughts on “Three-Legged Stool

  1. slgoode says:

    Great thoughts Gretchen! So true, and yet very difficult to strike that balance as Mothers of Preschoolers. One thing that Scott and I put into place when our kids were little was “couch time” for mommy & daddy, which takes place as soon as possible after your husband arrives home from the day. 10 or 15 minutes of time for you two to connect about your day, take care of minor issues or just sit and relax together without distractions. We would even set a timer sometimes, and the kids knew we were off limits during that time (unless there was blood!). We would sometimes get out of the habit of couch time for awhile, one of us would reinstate it and we would commit to it again. This one commitment that we made has made a world of difference in our communication and in our overall quality of marriage. We’ve come to see our “couch time” as an almost sacred time as we continue seeking consistent connection. By default we can so easily become ships passing through the night as husband and wife, focussing on our busy schedules, our needy children and becoming slaves to the responsibilities before us. Make connecting with your spouse a priority, in the 3 ways Gretchen talks about above. It will be worth the effort. Our adult sons have both said that our “couch time”, even in its inconsistency, has made an impact on them in building security and preparing them for their futures.

    • firstfreemops says:

      A couple from our church did this when their girls were little as well – they have also been married for 25 years. Maybe this will be a new Garrison family tradition! Thanks, Lorri, for the suggestion!

      On Mon, Feb 18, 2013 at 10:42 AM, First Free MOPS ~ Better moms make a

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